The rift between the Mariners' coaches and the front office is very real


We’ve heard rumblings this week that there is an increasing riff between the Mariners front office and the coaching staff, including manager Don Wakamatsu.  This came up when Chone Figgins was openly defiant of Wakamatsu in the dugout the other day yet wasn’t disciplined in any way.  Geoff Baker reports today, however, that the problems go all the way back to this past offseason.

Baker reports that the Mariners’ coaching staff begging for more offense, but that in their eyes “the front office did zero to make the offense better.”  Adrian Beltre was allowed to walk without an offer. Figgins came in but, because of other holes, was moved to second base. No one had any confidence in the Milton Bradley or Casey Kotchman trades.  They viewed the Mike
Sweeney signing as a sign of desperation. Baker also writes that “they knew Ken Griffey Jr. was done like an overcooked
Thanksgiving turkey.” A

Finally, and most damningly for front office/dugout relations, Baker writes that Wakamatsu and company were dumbfounded when, after the team got off to such a slow start, Jack Z fired hitting coach Alan Cockrell. It was the roster’s fault, the staff believed. Not Cockrell’s.

It’s striking, isn’t it, that despite all the hype surrounding the Mariners’ offseason moves — and remember back to January-March; there was a ton of hype — those moves not only proved to be poor ones in large part, but have served to create no small amount of in-house friction in Seattle.

Runnin’ a baseball team: it ain’t an easy business.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.